How Much Sugar Is in an Apple?

With high fiber and vitamin C and no fat or cholesterol, minimal sodium, and a low calorie count, apples are without a doubt one of the healthiest and nourishing foods in our diet. However, apples do have a higher sugar content than other fruits, with the exception of a few, like sweet grapes and ripe bananas. Despite being a great source of energy, people who are trying to lose weightor have diabetes ought to consider how much sugar is in an apple, because too much consumption can cause a spike in blood sugar levels.

How Much Sugar Is in an Apple?

Generally speaking, 11-18% of an apple is sugar. To be more specific, how much sugar an apple contains depends on its size and variety:

  • The average apple has approximately 3 grams of sugar for every ounce.
  • There is 16 grams of sugar in an apple of medium size, 5 ½ ounces.
  • A large apple weighing 8 ounces has 25 grams of sugar.
  • Apples of the Red Delicious and Golden Deliciousvariety have a sugar content of 11-15%.
  • 12-18% of sugar can be found in Granny Smith apples.
  • Gala apples have 14-16% of sugar.
  • Containing16-18% sugar, famously sweet Fuji apples are on the higher end of thespectrum.

What Kinds of Sugars Are in an Apple?

  1. Fructose

Fructose, also known as fruit sugar, is a monosaccharide. It is a simple sugar that is not metabolized before being absorbed by the small intestine. Rather, the liver processes fructose before it goes into the bloodstream. Of all the sugar varieties, fructose is the sweetest and is found in fruits alone, or in combination with glucose, which makes sucrose. On its own, fructose is known as freefructose, and apples contain quite a bit of it. The sugar content of an apple is around 57% free fructose.

  1. Glucose

Like fructose, glucose is also a simple sugar. It is easily absorbed into the bloodstream, and produces energy molecules known as ATP. Pure glucose is much less sweet than sucrose and fructose. The total sugar content of an apple is about 25% glucose.

  1. Sucrose

Sucrose is comprised of molecules from fructose and glucose, and is a disaccharide sugar. Enzymes called sucrase break down sucrose for absorption in the body. Sucrose is less sweet than fructose, and is what our granulated kitchen sugar is made of. For every apple, there is about 20%sucrose.

Other Nutrition in Apples

Apples are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, and are considered “nutritional powerhouses”. According to the nutrition information provided by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, one large apple weighted 242g contains about 130 calories but has zero fat, zero cholesterol, and zero sodium. How much sugar is in an apple like this? About 25grams, accompanied by 260 milligrams of potassium and 1 gram of protein. And with just one apple, you’ve consumed 20% of your daily fiber needs, which is around 5 grams. An apple also has vitamins A (2%) and C (8%), calcium (2%), and iron (2 %). Daily value percentages are based on a diet of 2,000 calories.

Health Benefits of Apples

In addition to knowing how much sugar is in an apple, there are a number of health benefits this fruit can bring. As the saying goes “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”.

  • Lower your cholesterol: the fiber in apples compounds with intestinal fats which helps lower cholesterol levels and abet overall health.
  • Have a healthy heart: heart problems like coronary artery disease can be caused by an accumulation of cholesterol in your arteries, which blocks the blood from flowing to your heart. High fiber contents in apples can slow this buildup by preventing cholesterol from coagulating on the walls of your arteries.
  • Maintain a healthy weight: being overweight can cause an array of health issues such as high blood pressure, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and sleep apnea. Foods like apples that are rich in fiber are helpful in weight management, as they make you feel full without overeating.
  • Avoid cataracts: recent studies have suggested that people who include fruit such as apples that are rich in antioxidants in their diet are less prone to developing cataracts by 10-15%.
  • Have a bright smile: saliva production is stimulated when you munch on apples, which helps decrease bacteria levels in your mouth and also lessens the risk of tooth decay.
  • Improve your immune system: quercetin, an antioxidant found in red apples, can help strengthen your immune system.
  • Fight constipation and diarrhea: when there is too much water in your stool causing diarrhea, fiber absorbs the surplus and slows down your bowel movement. In constipation, fiber draws water from your colon to lubricate your bowels. So fiber-rich foods like apples are good for your digestive health.
  • Lower your risk of diabetes: Type 2 diabetes is 28% less likely to develop in women who eat an apple per day. The soluble fiber in apples helps to curb blood sugar spikes.
  • Keep a clean liver: your liver’s job is to clear toxins from your body, and it has been proven that eating fruits like apples help keep your liver in a good working condition.
  • Decrease your risk of gallstones: if your bile contains high amounts of cholesterol, it becomes solid and forms gallstones. Since a high fiber diet can help lower cholesterol levels, your risk of gallstones is decreased with apples.
  • Protect against various cancers: there are compounds in apple peels called triterpenoids that fight the growth of cancer cells in the breast, colon, and liver. Additionally, apples can also decrease the risk of pancreatic cancer by as much as 23%.

Things to Be Careful About

Other than knowing how much sugar is in an apple, there are also a few things you need to be careful about when enjoying this delicious fruit. Because of the acidity of apples, they can be damaging to tooth enamel. Chewing a cut-up apple with the back teeth, and then rinsing your mouth with water is recommended by dentists.

Like most other products, apples are likely to have pesticides on the skin. Remove pesticides by washing them in water and rubbing the skin with a fruit scrubber or your hands. Avoid fruit washes, as they have not yet been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Apple seeds have a substance in them called amygdalin, and swallowing them whole should pose no real risk; but when chewed seeds come into contact with your digestive enzymes, cyanide is released, which is a very potent and dangerous poison. While the body is equipped to handle small amounts of cyanide, anything more would require medical attention.

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